The time period of Passover to Pentecost (Counting the Omer) is, was, and will be an important event in the history of the Jews but also for Christians! It defined the start of the Jewish calendar and propelled them as a group to gain the “Promised Land.” Jesus’ life and ministry were to fulfill the “type and shadow” of Passover and the meeting of God in the desert. The work of salvation had to be finished at Passover! Jesus, however, had other tasks to accomplish: send the Holy Spirit and birth His Church!
In Jesus’ life, there are four recorded Passovers in the Gospels. John, in his Gospel, used the term “Passover” the most and records three of the four Feast. Luke talks about two of them and Mark and Matthew cover the last one where He was offered up as our sacrifice. The four recorded Passovers and Counting of the Omers are:
- Luke 2:11; He also writes the story of the Ascension to Pentecost.
- John 2:13 to 4:43 (this ending story is a guess)
- John 6:4 to 7:1
- John 12 to 21 and continues into the Book of Acts. (See After the Cloud)
One thing that all four of these Passovers have in common is that Jesus returns to Galilee.
- In Luke 2 Jesus was twelve when He gave His parents a prelude to His ministry. A fun thought here is Nicodemus may have been present for that question and answer session.
- The second recorded Passover was the start of Jesus’ public ministry. Nicodemus was definitely part of this story and he was in a question and answer session with Jesus. The time frame of John 2 to 4, I chose for the “Counting of the Omer” because of what happened in these chapters. Jesus and the disciples were baptizing (in the Jordan) and going to Jacob’s Well in Samaria, this is where Joshua went during his “first fifty” days, and the “blessings and curses” were read on the two mountains.
- Jesus’ “second Passover” in His ministry period is not well defined. In John 6 and 7 more “shadowing and mirroring” is done: Jesus feeds the 5000, talks about manna and the true Bread of Life, and foretells Judas’ betrayal. The group ends back up in Galilee and the next reference in the chapter is to the Feast of Tabernacles (7thmonth of the year).
- The third and final Passover is what Christians now associate with Easter. (See the Day of Preparation.)